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AFCON U-17: Nigeria edge South Africa in Group B goal fest, Zambia earn consolation victory over Morocco

An entertaining final day in Group B of the 2023 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations ended with eight goals scored between two matches on Saturday evening in Algeria. In a match that had plenty at stake for both teams, Nigeria defeated South Africa 3-2 to move the Golden Eaglets into second place and secure a spot in the quarterfinals while Morocco finished as Group B winners despite a 2-1 defeat to already eliminated Zambia. Third placed South Africa now face a tense wait where the Amajimbos will need either a Burkina Faso victory or a Cameroon victory by multiple goals in Sunday’s Group C finale.

South Africa continued to entertain with their electric attack but the Amajimbos defense was once again leaky against Nigeria. Vicky Mkhawana’s third goal of the competition put South Africa up inside ten minutes before Charles Agada leveled in the 34th minute. Siyabonga Mabena snatched the lead back for South Africa just before halftime only for Nigeria to storm back with an inspired second half accompanied by goals from Light Eke and Abubakar Abdullahi.

In the other Group B match going on simultaneously, group winners Morocco took the lead through Zakaria Ouazane in the 18th minute against Zambia who were already eliminated following defeats to Nigeria and South Africa. However the Young Chipolopolo fought back to end their participation on a positive note with two goals in the final twenty minutes from Samson Malaya as well as a penalty kick converted by star forward Emmanuel Mwanza. Zambia ended level on three points with South Africa but their defeat to the Amajimbos meant they are eliminated due to the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Highlights from both matches on Saturday are below.

Scores

Nigeria 3-2 South Africa

Zambia 2-1 Morocco

Highlights

Nigeria 3-2 South Africa

Zambia 2-1 Morocco

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